Learning about photography


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I have never felt like I could take a good photo. It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve really begun to appreciate what a good photo is. With plans for my impending trip taking up most of my time, I decided that if I’m ever to be taken seriously, then I need to learn about photography. After a great deal of thought, I bought a Canon EOS 450D from Fotofile in MBK. The camera itself was about 24,000 baht, but with the lens, memory card, bag, hood and protection lens it end up being a lot more.

Having never used an SLR camera, I really had no idea what I was doing. Through a process of trial and error, however, everything has slowly begun coming together. My Canon has pre-determined settings so that it is possible to shoot without having to manually alter the focus, aperture, shutter speed and exposure. I’m trying my best not to use these settings, instead opting to learn about which settings suit a particular scene.

It isn’t rocket science, but it’s a lot to take in. I have a much greater appreciation for photography, but I’m confident that I can learn how to use my camera proficiently. Luckily for the rest of the world I don’t have any desire to take pictures of people in nightclubs or at glitzy parties.

Expect to see a lot of photos from East Timor. You can follow me on FlickR. I haven’t upgraded my account yet, but I will within the next week or so.

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7 thoughts on “Learning about photography

  1. The most important things is 1) to be aware of where the light comes from and 2) read yourself up on composition.
    The camera will take care of the technicalities of you go Auto.
    Enjoy!

  2. Forget auto, learn the relationship between aperture and shutter, make mistakes, learn from them, enjoy taking images, don't get bogged down with the kit.

  3. I started off with my dad's hand-crank-your-film Pentax to learn about photography. I knew everything on how to use shutter/apature on that old girl. However, my recent Nikon D40 turned me into a complete idiot. RTFM is what I'm telling myself. Hahah!

    But like what Geir said, the digital SLR is taking care of a lot of stuff and you can still get pretty decent pictures. (I'm on flickr too if you want to follow me…find me on Matt's contact list.)

  4. Oh and to add, Daniel, I agree. One should learn the basics. I am going to eventually hit the manual and learn to properly use my Nikon D40. I LOVED my Pentax until the film compartment back door part kept popping open on her own. Was very close to just put gaffer's tape over that. Eventually I will have to take her to get fixed. As much as I love digital, there are still the thrills from waiting to see what developed out of the negatives. :)

  5. Dan: Using auto and try to understand why the camera picks the settings it does is a very good first stop for understanding shutter/aperture. I teach this to students, and it works!

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